Century's new 2900 Walkaround brings you the best of two worlds. When you stand in the center of the boat and look aft, you see a large cockpit that would suit even the most seasoned tournament angler. Face the bow and you're confronted by downright cozy accommodations that would appeal to most any family fishing team. It's a combination that's hard to beat.
Let's start forward. Remember when outboard-boat cabins were spartan, unfinished areas best suited for storing rusty tackle boxes? Those days are now a distant memory thanks to boats like this. For a 29-footer, the 2900 has a remarkable amount of room belowdecks, and the level of finish is excellent. The cabin overhead sports a sleek vinyl headliner material called Gabrino Light, and there are classy touches such as recessed lighting around the back of the seating area.
A convertible berth at the forepeak serves double duty as sleeping quarters for two or as a dinette, thanks to a high/low table and drop-in filler cushions. There's a storage bin forward, a round Bomar hatch overhead, and a portside galley with an oval sink, a Kenyon alcohol stove, and a refrigerator and microwave. An enclosed, stand-up head to starboard comes with your choice of a porta-potty (standard), a manual marine head, or one that's fully electric.
To top it all off, an aft berth beneath the bridgedeck increases the boat's sleeping capacity. Century has done an outstanding job using the space available, as this is a very functional and livable cabin, something that's relatively rare on a boat of this size.
The bridgedeck has the helm to starboard. It affords excellent visibility due to the fact that you're sitting above the mid-berth. Both the helm and passenger pedestal seats sit atop molded fiberglass boxes. The port box contains an insulated ice chest and storage, and has an aft-facing seat for watching the baits. The starboard box contains four tackle drawers. A large box above the helm can be used simply for storage or for flush-mounting a sizable array of electronics.
Fishermen will appreciate the spacious cockpit with twin 45-gallon fishboxes in the sole that drain through individual macerator pumps, and standard cockpit coaming pads. The integrated transom bulkhead contains a bait-prep station to port with both fresh and salt water, plus a 45-gallon live well on the centerline. There was also an optional seat on our test boat that folded up for additional passenger seating.
Batteries are housed in the transom bulkhead, and a transom gate to starboard lets you get to the engine platform easily. The cockpit has a starboard rod locker that holds three outfits, and two hatches to port for access to the battery switches and the raw-water washdown hose.
Deep, wide walkways to the bow make the 2900 a true walkaround. It should be easy to go forward, even in rough weather, and the high, welded, stainless-steel bow rail provides an added measure of security. In the very bow is a molded-in pulpit with an anchor roller, as well as a cushioned bow seat for catching some rays.
Our test boat was rigged with twin 250-hp Yamahas on the transom and cruised at 35.6 knots at 4000 rpm, reaching 45.3 knots wide open at 5400 rpm, according to Yamaha's own data. We ran the boat in sloppy seas off the Florida Keys and it behaved very well, keeping spray down to a minimum, and only pounding when we pushed it unreasonably hard.
All Century boats are built using the company's exclusive, patent-pending RIB System, which is a foam-filled fiberglass stringer grid system that utilizes strategically placed transverse bulkheads for maximum strength. A molded urethane transom means there's no wood to rot, and Century backs the boat up with a ten-year limited hull warranty.
The 2900 Walkaround should prove a great boat for the fishing family. If that sounds like you, check one out for yourself and you'll discover just how much boat Century delivers for the money.Century Boat Co., Panama City, FL; (850) 769-0311; www.centuryboats.com